Opinion: Why The NASCAR Hall Induction Is Such A Big Deal

Richard Petty still comes to the racetrack every week.

Likely NASCAR's greatest ambassador, The King spends his days smiling at fans, signing endless autographs, shaking hands like a politician, posing for pictures with fans who want to be near greatness.

But when a guy is around that much, people tend to take him for granted.

So today, as Petty enters the NASCAR Hall of Fame, along with Junior Johnson and three other legends who have passed away – Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr. – let's pause for a moment and try to grasp how important this day is.

Imagine, if you will, the first class of the Baseball Hall of Fame: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

What it would have been like to witness those legends being enshrined?

This is what the NASCAR Hall has today. Yes, it's hard to look so far into the future right now, but think about it: This ceremony may be attended by the greatest bunch of names ever collected in one place.

Thirty or 40 or 50 years from now, if you remember this day, you'll be able to tell people: I remember watching when The King, Richard Petty, was inducted into the Hall of Fame – and future legends like Jimmie Johnson were sitting in the audience.

Again, that might not sound like a huge deal today. But as the decades pass, our appreciation for this day will only grow.

So soak it all in. You'll be glad you did.

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